Howie Landa says he used to dream about taking over as Nevada Las Vegas basketball coach for one game, winning it, and unseating Jerry Tarkanian as the coach with the best winning percentage in school history.
Landa has gone one better.
With Coach Tim Grgurich still recovering from exhaustion in a Southern California hospital, Landa won his second consecutive game as interim coach of the Runnin' Rebels, a 91-79 decision over Cal State Northridge in a nonconference matchup before 1,076.
Kebu Stewart had 31 points and 14 rebounds as UNLV overcame 24 turnovers by shooting 53.8% and making 32 of 37 free throws.
Stewart, a 6-foot-8 junior, made 15 of 17 free throws, including his first 13. He came in shooting 56% from the line.
"Why didn't he break out of that free-throw slump against someone else?" Northridge Coach Pete Cassidy lamented.
Northridge, which has lost seven of eight games, made 17 steals, committed only 13 turnovers, held a 28-11 edge on the offensive boards, but shot a season-low 31.8%.
"That's all it was about tonight," Northridge forward Mike Dorsey said of the Matadors' dismal shooting. "We just couldn't put the ball in the basket. They weren't all (three-point attempts) either. There were a lot of layups."
Centers Shane O'Doherty and Peter Micelli combined to make four of 17 shots--most of those follows or jumpers from the lane.
Shawn Stone was three of 10. Eric Gray, who came off the bench to score 31 points in the previous two games, was two for 10.
Robert Hill scored 19 points for Northridge, but he made only six of 17 shots and was one of five from three-point range.
Dorsey scored 14 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made six steals. Reserve guard Ryan Martin scored 13 points in 14 minutes.
Las Vegas built a 14-point advantage early in the second half. Dorsey dunked after swiping the inbounds pass that started the half, then CSUN went without a field goal for more than 6 1/2 minutes.
Martin was summoned just in time to keep Northridge within striking distance. Entering with 12:31 to play, he hit his first three-pointer 44 seconds later, his second 51 seconds after that and his third 35 seconds after that.